HOSA State Leadership Conference


Rylyn Wang, Staff writer

Future Health Professionals (HOSA) competed at its annual State Leadership Conference (SLC) Wednesday, March 22 to Sunday, March 26 in Sacramento. 

HOSA advisers Jennifer Carreño and Sheila Sebastian brought 59 students who qualified to compete from their Regional Competitive Events (RCE) in February to SLC. Competitions were held in the Sacramento SAFE Credit Union Convention Center. 

“It was really fun. Everybody had a good time. We traveled together and did well as a school representing Walnut in the state,” Carreño said. “When they announced the awards, we all screamed. We screamed a lot on Saturday night.”

Many students placed top three in their selected events, qualifying for the International Leadership Conference (ILC) in Dallas, Texas. Junior Prerna Bharath placed first in Biochemistry, senior Kodiak Poon placed second in General Biology, sophomore Gilbert Shen placed second in General Chemistry, junior Joy Lin placed third in Microbiology and sophomore Zimo Chen placed third in Human Heredity. 

“Before the competition, we were just excited to give them the opportunity to compete,” Carreño said. “Afterwards, when we got their rewards, we were so excited that we did so well.”

Walnut HOSA was recognized for achieving the gold level of the Barbara James Service Award, with over 250 service hours. On each competition day, competitors competed in their event while noncompetitors participated in workshops, which ranged from hands-on activities to open-ended discussions.

“Last year, since it was more local, we weren’t expecting much,” Carreño said. “This year, we won 38 awards and I’m excited for the growth and glad that next year, SLC is local because that’ll be easier to handle.”